The Ohio State Buckeyes had the luxury of going into the Big Ten Championship knowing that they could lose the game and still probably make the playoffs. During the first half of the game, it looked like they were going find out as Wisconsin took a 21-7 lead into the half.
But the Badgers ran out of steam early in the second half as the Buckeyes rolled to a 34-21 win. With the victory, Ohio State locked up a spot in the College Football Playoffs and had a good case to be the No. 1 seed.
Being the top seed doesn’t necessarily make someone the best team. But if you ask star defensive lineman Chase Young, the Buckeyes are the best team in the country:
Is he right?
Statistically speaking, it is not hard to make a case that Young is indeed correct—the Buckeyes are the best team in the country. Led by Justin Fields, their offense ranks first in what matters most, points, with 48.7 points per game this season.
But their dominance doesn’t end there. With just 12.5 points allowed per game, they had the third-best scoring defense in the country.
Their offense is No. 5 in total yards and their defense No. 2.
Of course, the stat that matters most is the win column where they have gone 13-0 (and won 19 straight). Not only did Ohio State go undefeated, but they won by an average of 36.2 points a game.
But being the best team in the country isn’t just about outscoring everyone by some ridiculous margin. You need to beat the best teams in the country by a ridiculous margin.
With double-digit wins over five top-25 teams, including four in the top-15, Chase Young has a good argument.
As one of the team’s stars, Chase Young would be expected to say nothing less than what he did. But the Committee disagreed with him.
The win over Penn State back in Week 13 was enough to change the Committee’s mind and make Ohio State the No. 1 team. But it appears that LSU’s dominant win over No. 4 Georgia coupled with Ohio State’s not-so-convincing win over No. 8 Wisconsin was enough for the Committee to have a change of heart once again.
When the final rankings were announced Sunday, the Committee had LSU at No. 1, followed by Ohio State, Clemson, and Oklahoma.
Some would agree with Young and say that the Buckeyes are indeed the best team in the country. No one is as strong on both sides of the ball as they are. At the same time, LSU has evidence on its side as well.
No, their defense can’t match the level of dominance the Buckeyes defense has displayed this season. Since they had Joe Burrow leading the No. 1 offense in the country (total yards) and No. 3 scoring offense (47.8 points per game), they didn’t have to be.
But the difference could also be attributed to the quality of their opponents. Like Ohio State, LSU faced off against five ranked teams this season—but all five were also ranked in the top ten.
Part of the beauty of college football is the ability to debate subjects such as this and for more than one team to have a compelling case. But for those who prefer to live in a more black and white world, we’ll find out who the best is on January 13.